Illinois Possession of a Controlled Substance

The Law – 720 ILCS 570/402

It is unlawful for any person knowingly to possess a controlled or counterfeit substance or controlled substance analog.

WHAT IS A “CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE”?

The entire list of substances that are covered under this law can be found at 720 ILCS 570.

Some of the more common substances that are illegal to possess under this law are, or possess without a valid prescription, are:

Cocaine Rohypnol Codeine
Heroin GHB Darvocet-N®
LSD Ketamine Methadone
PCP   Methamphetamine
Barbituric   Norco®
Morphine   Opium
Peyote   Percocet
Amphetamines   Percodan Ritalin®
    Vicodin

The concept of “possession” is nebulous, and depends on the facts and circumstances of each case. Generally, when the substance is said to have been found on your person (in your pants pocket, shirt pocket, jacket pocket, etc.) you will be said to be in possession of the substance. Of course, even in that instance, the State must prove that you “knowingly” possessed the substance. For instance, we were retained once to represent a client who was charged with possession of cocaine, which had been found in his jacket pocket when he was searched. As it turned out, however, and we were able to show this at trial, our client had been at a party and left, wearing someone else’s jacket that looked very similar to his own. In that case, the client did not “knowingly” possess the cocaine.

For more than 30 years, we have represented persons charged with possession of cocaine, heroin, meth, LSD, PCP, shrooms, amphetamines, Vicodin, GHB, morphine, opium and other controlled substances. From the minute we are hired, we begin the process of doing all we can do obtain the best possible result for our clients. Over the years, we have been successful in getting charges dismissed because we successfully argued that a search warrant was improper, or that a search by the police was unlawful or illegal. We have also had charges dismissed where it was found, after we demanded a hearing, that our client’s vehicle was unlawfully stopped and detained. Additionally, we have represented numerous clients in trials before juries and before judges, who we found “not guilty” after a trial.

When you need a criminal defense attorney, you should hire a lawyer who is experienced, aggressive, and will do the work it takes to get the best result for you. We leave no stone unturned in our effort to do the best job we can for a client, and get the best result possible. We are experienced, aggressive, knowledgeable, and detail-oriented criminal defense attorneys We represent clients in Orland Park, Tinley Park, Joliet, Lockport, Homer Glen, New Lenox, Oak Forest, Plainfield, Romeoville, and all other cities in the southwest suburbs of Chicago.

Additionally, the issue of “possession” can be argued when the substance is found in a vehicle or at a residence, or on any premises. There are literally dozens upon dozens of factors that go into determining whether, under the law, a person actually “possessed” a substance. Some of the factors include: whether the person had control over the area where the substance was found, whether he had sole control over that area, whether he was the owner of the vehicle or premises, and what other property was found near the substance.

Also, it is important that an in-depth and thorough evaluation and analysis be done as to whether the search, which led to the discovery of the substance, was illegal or improper; and also whether the detention/stopping of the person (whether on the street or in a vehicle) was illegal or improper. The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States provides that all persons she be free from unreasonable searches or seizures. Illinois has a similar law. If there is evidence that the search or stop was improper, we can request that the Judge hold a court hearing to determine if the search or stop was valid. If the Judge finds that the search or stop was invalid, the Judge will not permit the State to use the evidence resulting from the improper search or stop at trial, and the case will be most likely dismissed.

The Sentence

SENTENCING FOR POSSESSSON OF HEROIN, COCAINE OR MORPHINE

AMOUNT

SENTENCE

PRISON TERM

MAXIMUM FINE

15 grams – 99 grams

CLASS 1 FELONY

4-15 years

$200,000

100 grams – 399 grams

CLASS 1 FELONY

6-30 years

$200,000 or street value

400 grams – 899 grams

CLASS 1 FELONY

8-40 years

$200,000 or street value

900 or more grams

CLASS 1 FELONY

10-50 years

$200,000 or street 

Value

ANY OTHER AMOUNTS OF HEROIN, COCAINE OR MORPHINE

CLASS 4 FELONY

1-3 years

Up to $25,000

 

SENTENCING FOR POSSESSSON OF PEYOTE, BARBITURIC ACID AND AMPHETAMINE

AMOUNT

SENTENCE

PRISON TERM

MAXIMUM FINE

200 grams or greater

CLASS 1 FELONY

4-14 YEARS

UP TO $200,000

ALL OTHER AMOUNTS OF PEYOTE, BARBITURIC ACID OR AMPHETAMINE

CLASS 4 FELONY

1-3 YEARS

Up to $25,000

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Orland Park, Illinois 60467

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